Randy Haynie, President
Haynie & Associates

Jonathan Hobbs, 
Rice Export Logistics,
Russell Marine Group

Pres Kabacoff, CEO
HRI Properties

Caitlin Cain, CEO
World Trade Center of New Orleans

Brandy Christian, President
Port of New Orleans

Dr. Ana Lopez, Director
Tulane University Cuban & Caribbean Studies Institute

Cesar Martino, Director
Intl. Cuba Society,
Owner, Vega Group

Saul Newsome, Attorney
Breazeale Sachse & Wilson, LLP

Mike Olivier, CEO,
Committee of 100

John Owen, Rice Farmer
Northeast Louisiana Rice Growers Association

Bill Rase, Executive Director
Port of Lake Charles

Mike Strain, Commissioner
Louisiana Department of Agriculture

John Suarez, Financial Advisor
Merrill Lynch

Robert Trahan, Rice Miller
Falcon Rice Mill

Robert Verchick, Environmental Law Chair
Loyola University

James Warshaw, Rice Miller
Farmers Rice Milling Co.

Dr. Aaron Wolfson, Clinical Psychologist
Jefferson Neurobehavioral Group

Lenny Wormser, Senior Managing Director
Latter & Blum

Avery J. Davidson, Assistant Director of Information & PR
Louisiana Farm Bureau

Buck Gladden, President
Gladden Sales LLC


Joe Accardo, Executive Director
Ports Association of Louisiana

Paul Aucoin, Executive Director
Port of South Louisiana

Kevin Berken, Rice Farmer
Southern Louisiana

Ken Bickford, President
Chappapeela Development Corporation

Dr. Pierre Buekens, Dean
Tulane School of Public Health

Joe Morris Doss, President
the Threshold

Mary Dumestre, Attorney
Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC

Ken Duncan, Attorney/Consultant/Businessman,
Former Louisiana State Treasurer

Alina Fernandez, President
Cuba Travel-USA

Michael Fruge, Rice Farmer
Central Louisiana Rice Growers Association

Betsie GambeL, President
Gambel Communications

Annie Gibson, Professor
Tulane Department of Global Education

Sergio Girau, Vice Presidnt, Principal Engineer
Lin eld Hunter & Junius Inc.

Romi Gonzales, Chairman,
Intl. Cuba Society, 
Attorney, Braden Gonzales & Associates

John Haffner, President
Cuba Trade and Travel

Jay Hakes, Former Head
US Energy Information Administration

Bobby Hanks, CEO
Louisiana Rice Milling Co.

Meryl Kennedy Farr
Kennedy Rice Mill, LLC, 
Planters Rice Mill, LLC

José Cot, Attorney/Partner
Hurley & Cot, APLC

Holden Hoggatt, President
Hoggatt Law Group

Don Pierson, Louisiana Secretary
of Economic Development

ABC-Baton Rouge: Agricultural Trade Mission to Cuba

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., recently returned from the island nation of Cuba, where he led a 94-person delegation promoting agricultural trade, economic development and tourism.

New Orleans CityBusiness: South Louisiana ports prepare for possible rekindling of Cuban relations

Engage Cuba, a bipartisan coalition of private businesses and organizations striving to end the travel and trade embargo on Cuba, launched its Louisiana State Council today in Baton Rouge.

The Advocate: Ending Cuba Embargo Offers Opportunities for Louisiana Farm, Petrochem and Tourism Industries, Coalition Says

Williams’ comments came before a panel discussion and news conference launching Engage Cuba’s Louisiana State Council, whose members include agricultural, port, community and business leaders. 

New Orleans Advocate: Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain leads 940member trade mission to Cuba

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain is flying out of New Orleans on Tuesday morning as the head of a 94-member trade mission to Cuba. 

WBRZ ABC: Cuba could be powerful trade ally for Bayou State

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. just returned from a visit to the island nation of Cuba where he led a delegation to promote agricultural trade, economic development and tourism. 

Associated Press: Coalition: Ending Cuba embargo would help LA farmers

James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a coalition of businesses and organizations that wants to end the ban, touted the possible trade benefits before a news conference the coalition held Thursday to launch Engage Cuba’s Louisiana State Council.

WBRZ ABC: Promoting economic development for LA, group seeks to end Cuban embargo

"Our Louisiana State Council is another example of the momentum in support of lifting the Cuban embargo and opening travel with one of our closest neighbors," said James Williams, President of Engage Cuba.

Fox News Latino: President Obama urges business leaders to press Congress to lift Cuba embargo

"For too long, a small minority of status quo defenders sidelined the voices of the vast majority of the American people who support a change in U.S.-Cuba policy," said James Williams, President of Engage Cuba, in a statement. 

Times Free Press: Tennessee Council joins effort to end U.S.-Cuba trade embargo

Engage Cuba held a round table discussion with the leaders and announced the formation of a 15-member Tennessee State Council, representing an array of sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, business and the arts. 

Times Free Press: Tennessee Council joins effort to end U.S.-Cuba trade embargo

Engage Cuba held a round table discussion with the leaders and announced the formation of a 15-member Tennessee State Council, representing an array of sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, business and the arts. 

The Times-Picayune: Sailboat Diplomacy: New Orleands sailors blow into Havana with historic race

The skippers and crew -- most hailing from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle -- had raced more than 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico for the privilege of sailing their boats into U.S.-Cuban diplomatic history.

Greater Baton Rouge Business Report: Cracking the . Cuban market: Land of opportunity for Louisiana

There are plenty of Louisiana business sectors that could benefit from improved relations with Cuba.

The Advertiser: Here's how Cuba can help Louisiana flourish

The country is only 700 miles from Louisiana’s coast, making it prime for convenient trade especially from the Port of New Orleans, LaGrange said.

KADN: Louisiana rice producers join over 60 groups to support Farm Bill Cuba Provision

Today, Louisiana rice producers, including the Louisiana Rice Promotion Council and Kennedy Rice, joined a bipartisan group of over 60 agriculture associations, businesses, and elected officials across 17 states in urging House and Senate Agriculture Committees to include a provision in the 2018 farm bill that the Congressional Budget Office determined would save $690 million over 10 years. The suggested amendment, adapted from the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act (H.R. 525), would expand agricultural trade with Cuba by removing restrictions on private financing for U.S. food exports. The letter also urges lawmakers to preserve a Senate provision that allows farmers to use federal market promotion funds in Cuba.

Times-Picayune: Op-Ed: Louisiana and Cuba are natural trading partners

by Mike Strain and Joe Accardo

While the Cuban government should ease regulations to allow the growth of U.S. companies investing there, the United States should open up trade with Cuba.

The Advocate: President Trump's stance on Cuba trade comes with high stakes for Louisiana, ag chief Mike Strain says

While the Obama administration appeared to be moving closer toward normalizing relations with Cuba, in part by allowing commercial flights and opening up tourism opportunities, President Trump has signaled some resistance to building on the relationship.

The Town Talk: Louisiana can get "lion's share" of Cuba trade

Cuba imports $2 billion or more in food each year. Louisiana's commissioner of agriculture, Mike Strain, thinks the state is positioned to grab a large share of that. 

Business Report: Louisiana Ag Commissioner Mike Strain on the state's relationship with Cuba

The possibility of the United States lifting its trade embargo on Cuba has Louisiana officials brimming with optimism. The communist nation, on which the U.S. government placed an embargo in 1960, imports billions of dollars worth of food every year to feed its 11 million people.

KATC-ABC: Cuban Connection: Agricultural Delegation Takes a Historic Flight

Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture, Mike Strain, led a group of 94 Louisianans on a trade mission to Cuba. The delegation, comprised primarily of Louisiana farmers, traveled to Cuba in an effort to forge future trade deals with the country.

The Advocate: Louisiana alliance for Cuba holding workshops on establishing trade with Cuba

Louisiana Álliance for Cuba will host a series of workshops from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 22 at Gallier Hall in New Orleans at 545 St. Charles Ave. for companies and executives interested in establishing trade with Cuba. 

The Advocate: Our Views: Cuba is poor but a new market for Louisiana

While legal and political barriers remain, mere geography is on the side of Louisiana's exporters when it comes to trade with Cuba. 

The News Star: Strain: Lots of Potential in Trade with Cuba

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain believes Cuba's impoverished economy brings an extraordinary opportunity for Louisiana agriculture. 

Ship-Technology: Port of South Louisiana to sign deal with Cuba's NPAC in October

The Port Of South Louisiana is planning to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Port Administration (NPAC) of Cuba in order to promote commerce and growth in both countries. 

American Journal of Transportation: Port of South Louisiana partakes in Louisiana trade mission to Cuba

Last week, Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul G. Aucoin along with Commission President D. Paul Robichaux, Commission Treasurer P. Joey Murray, III, and Commission Secretary Stanley Bazile returned from a 94-member trade mission to Cuba led by Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture, Mike Strain.

Prensa Latina: Agricultural Delegation from Louisiana, USA, Travels to Cuba

Commissioner for Agriculture in Louisiana Mike Strain heads a commercial delegation that traveled today to Cuba to negotiate a potential export of food to this country. 

Greater Baton Rouge Business Report: Emerging Latin American Markets Seek More Louisiana Business with Incentives

Jack Jensen has seen plenty of changes since he set up shop as an importer more than 30 years ago at the Port of New Orleans. During that time, lowered trade barriers, improved infrastructure and technological advances have made doing business in Latin America cheaper and more practical. 

Associated Press: Louisiana lawmakers encourage trade relations with Cuba

Louisiana's lawmakers are pushing trade talks with Cuba, now that President Barack Obama has moved to normalize relations with the island nation.

TALK 107.3: Free trade with Cuba could mean billions for Louisiana

A group of congressman is going to Cuba this week on a trade mission. Strain plans another trip this summer.

Greater Baton Rouge Business Report: Louisiana companies contemplate new business prospects with Cuba

But the relationship between the United States and Cuba is beginning to thaw. If that warming trend continues, Louisiana businesses will have a chance to profit from change.

The Times-Picayune: Louisiana rice farmers hope to cash in on trade with Cuba, newspaper reports

Rice farmers in Louisiana are hoping to cash in on trade with Cuba, capitalizing inexpensive transport between the two places and a Cuban preference for rice grown here, according to The Shreveport Times.

Louisiana's Champions

  Representative Ralph Abraham, M.D. (R-LA-5)   Cosponsor of  H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act  &  H.R. 442 Cuba Trade Act

Representative Ralph Abraham, M.D. (R-LA-5)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act & H.R. 442 Cuba Trade Act

  Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)   Cosponsor of  S 1287 Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

Cosponsor of S 1287 Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act

  Representative Clay Higgins (R-LA-3)   Cosponsor of  H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Clay Higgins (R-LA-3)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act